September 5th of this year was a sad day for MotoGP fans all over the world. On this date, Technomag-CIP rider Shoya Tomizawa died after crashing into a corner in the Misano World Circuit in Italy. Tomizawa was only 19 at the time of the accident.
The young rider was competing in the inaugural San Marino Grand Prix race for the newly created Moto2 class. Tomizawa was approaching the Curvone corner on lap 12 when he lost control of his bike and was thrown onto the track. He was then hit by the the bikes of riders Scott Redding and Alex de Angelis, who were right behind him when the accident happened. Tomizawa was immediately rushed to the circuit’s medical center then to a hospital in nearby Rccione where he died due to severe cranial, thoracic, and abdominal trauma.
Last Sunday, two weeks after Tomizawa’s death, the MotoGP Paddock paid him a tribute in a special ceremony held at the Motorland Aragon circuit in Spain. The Technomag-CIP team rolled his bike onto the starting grid and a minute of silence followed, in his honor. Riders attending the tribute also placed the #48 (Tomizawa’s number) onto their uniforms, helmets, and bikes as a sign of respect. Tomizawa was laid to rest in his hometown of Asahi, Chiba in Japan on Sept. 15.
MotoGP also announced that the number 48 will be retired from the Moto2 races as one of the tributes to him. Furthermore, Tomizawa will be posthumously awarded the Michel Metraux trophy, given the best rider in the category. The award was given after Tomizawa’s fellow riders unanimously voted for him upon the suggestion of current Moto2 leader Tom Elias. His family will receive the trophy in the next Grand Prix in Japan this November.
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In a related development, the Prosecutor of the city of Rimini, Paolo Giovagnoli has launched an investigation in regards to the death of the young racer. The investigation is being made to determine whether or not there was any negligence on the part of race officials. However, according to some sources, the charges are most likely to be dropped.
Tomizawa started his professional career as a racer in the All Japan Road Race Championships in the 2006 season, where he gained second place and was also named Rookie of the year. He entered his first international race upon graduation from high school. This year, he moved up to the newly created Moto2 category of the MotoGP, where he won the first race in Qatar.